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Bryant splits with CCSU, walks off with run-rule victory in 2018 finale

Chris Hook Photo
Chris Hook Photo

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior Gianna Pizzano (Saugus, Mass.) homered and drove in three runs on the day, while scoring the winning run in Game 2, as the Bryant University softball team closed out the 2018 season Saturday with a 9-1 run-rule victory over Central Connecticut. 

The Bulldogs split the season-ending doubleheader after dropping Game 1, 5-1. Pizzano homered for the lone run in the first and drove in three runs in Game 2 before coming home to score on a sac fly by junior Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.) for the 9-1 victory in five innings. Goulart also tallied three RBIs on the afternoon, all in Game 2.

GAME INFORMATION
Game 1: Central Connecticut 5, Bryant 1
Game 2: Bryant 9, Central Connecticut 1 (5 inn.)

Records: Bryant (14-31, 7-9 NEC) | Central Connecticut (19-28, 10-6 NEC)
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
Game 1 W|L: Peyton Silverman (8-9) | Logan Paul (5-6)
Game 2 W|L: Brandi Burgin (1-2) | Emily Sargent (8-12) 

KEY MOMENT (Game 1)

  • Bryant trailed 2-0 through four innings, but CCSU scored three times in the top of the fifth to extend its lead to 5-0.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

  • CCSU struck first with a two-out single in the first to plate two runs.
  • The Blue Devils had one on and one out in the fifth before two walks and a hit batsman pushed a run across.
  • CCSU would add two more runs in the frame on a two-out single.
  • Pizzano homered in the bottom of the fifth for Bryant's lone tally of the opener.

STATS (Game 1)

  • Five Bulldogs each collected a hit in the first game, while Goulart walked twice.
  • Junior Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) allowed one run over the final 2 1/3 innings in relief.
  • Pizzano's homer was the fourth of her senior year.

KEY MOMENT (Game 2)

  • After a groundout to begin the fifth, the next five Bulldogs reached before Goulart's walk-off sac fly.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

  • CCSU got on the board first with a first-inning sac fly.
  • The Bulldogs responded with two in the bottom of the second, first getting on the board via an error after a sacrifice bunt by senior Logan Paul (Shaker Heights, Ohio) was fielded and errantly thrown, scoring junior Jessica Gradillas (Nogales, Ariz.) from second to tie the game.
  • Pizzano would single home Paul with one out to give the Black and Gold the lead.
  • A third-inning RBI single by Gradillas scored Goulart to extend the lead to 3-1.
  • Bryant opened up the game in the fourth inning, scoring three runs, all with two outs. A two-run triple by Goulart brought home Pizzano and senior Hannah Crofut (Buffalo, N.Y.) to make it 5-1 before senior Rachel Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) drove in Goulart to push the advantage to 6-1.
  • Pizzano drove in Paul again in the fifth, and after a walk to Crofut loaded the bases, sophomore Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) drew a bases-loaded walk to give Bryant an 8-1 lead.
  • Goulart followed by lifting a fly ball to left, with Pizzano hustling home and evading the tag for the five-inning, run-rule victory.

STATS (Game 2)

  • Pizzano went 2-for-3 in the second game and reached on an error, while driving in two runs and scoring two.
  • Goulart was 2-for-3 in Game 2 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
  • Senior Brandi Burgin (Santa Clarita, Calif.) tossed five innings for the victory, as Burgin scattered four hits and walked none while surrendering one unearned run.
  • Paul went 1-for-2 plus a sacrifice and scored twice in her lone collegiate game as a hitter. Paul played all five innings in right field.
  • Gradillas went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.

GAME NOTES

  • Crofut made all three putouts in left field in the fifth and final inning of the second game..
  • Senior Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) stole third base in the second inning of Game 2 – her first steal since Feb. 28, 2015 against Colorado State.
  • Bryant sent head coach Shayne Lotito out with a victory. Lotito, who has been the head coach of the Bulldogs for the past five seasons, led the Black and Gold to two NEC tournament appearances (2014, 2016) and the program's first NEC championship in 2014.